Inspiration

Missing the Good Stuff Sucks

Missing the good stuff in life isn’t something I relish, especially when it involves my kids. I want to be there for the things they do, whether it be sports or drama or choir or a community function or major things like graduation and moving up ceremonies. Those things are important and the support of knowing your parents are there to support you is one of the best things to help your kids feel safe and secure in this world. I know I really appreciated that my parents made it to as many things as possible when I was a kid. I didn’t always express my appreciation like I should have, but it did mean a lot.

Today is tough for me because I am missing something I feel I should be at. Instead, because of my job, I am missing it. So, instead of doing what I should be doing I am taking a moment to vent my frustration. I doubt it will help me feel better, but I just can’t help it. What’s worse about this whole thing is that it is because of my job that I am missing it and it is my profession that makes it more difficult on people, specifically parents.

You see, today my son is “graduating” from the 8th grade. It is really just a moving up ceremony and in the grand scheme of educational things it isn’t that important. BUT, it is important to him! Unfortunately, I am missing it. Missing the good stuff sucks.

Why am I missing it? Well, I am a teacher and work for a completely different school district than both of my school aged children. What that means is that I end up missing many of their school related activities. Parent/teacher conferences, concerts or performances that take place during the school day, celebrations at school, graduations/moving-up ceremonies…you name it, I probably have missed it because I was fulfilling my teacher duties somewhere else. I am not sure why school districts schedule things during the work day. It doesn’t make sense to me and I am sure there are reasons I don’t know of, but either way it is frustrating. I am sure there are many parents who are missing the ceremony today because they have work obligations, that is the unfortunate thing schools do.

Anyway, all that to say I am proud of you, son. You have grown up so much over the last few years and this transition will be a big one for you. You worked hard this year, made some mistakes and grew from them. You worked hard this year, learned some new things about yourself and the subjects you were studying. You worked hard this year and experienced some great successes as well. You have tried new things, some you liked and some you didn’t. You are moving up in this world and I can’t wait to see where life continues to take you.

Congratulations, and I love you.

Change Is In The Air

Sometimes, you just get tired of doing things the way you have always done them.

Sometimes, you realize nothing will change if you don’t have the guts to risk something hard.

Sometimes, you’re just tired.

Change is in the air. Not something as simple as moving the furniture around the living room, going to bed earlier to get more rest, or working out more to lose some weight. No, this change is intended to put my (our) family and future in a better place.

Sure there will be people who say it isn’t smart, or wise. There will probably even be people who say I’m (or we’re) stupid for even trying. But, what about those people in history who didn’t listen to the people around them, even the ones they respected and looked up to the most? What if those people never made a decision to step out and risk something in order to get to something greater? Where would we be without them? How different would our lives be then?

So, for now some encouragement to take hard, positive steps and make harder long-term decisions. In the end, the road may be long but anything worth having is worth working for, right? At least that’s what our parents told us when we were kids and wanted something right NOW. Time to put those words into action and see if mom and dad were right…oh, and they were. I am not where I am today without listening to them once in a while. However, we need reminders of these things once in a while and now is as good as any.

There is more to come…

PS: If you needed some encouragement today to do something hard, then you can take some from me. You’re welcome!

A Forever Family Needs Help!

Help bring Chloe home!  *Regulations say I can't show you her face yet*

Help bring Chloe home!
*Regulations say I can’t show you her face yet*

The beautiful little girl above has the opportunity to go home to her forever family this year! But, she needs help. FAST!

I have written about this adoption before, If Ever There Was A Good Cause, but that was before there was an actual, real face and child to think about. The idea was there and there was a goal, but it was just so unreal and seemingly intangible. Well, things have changed and there is now a very real, very tangible goal in mind. But time is short, so anything you can do (no matter how small it may be) helps bring this pretty little girl one step closer to her new home in Hawaii with an amazing family.

They are trying to raise funds in a very short amount of time to help defray the costs of the adoption, which includes traveling to China to meet her for the first time and bring her home. With about two months to go, they could use some help, like right now!!

I am including the links to their fundraising efforts so that you can help them be successful! But most of all, for a little child of God to come home to a family that has loved her for a long time without even knowing her. Again, there can be no greater cause than this.

GoFundMe

MyThirtyOne.com

purecharity.com

Thanks so much for considering this as a way to change the world, one life at a time. Be the difference in one life.

Easter is Better Than Christmas – Why?

Is this even going to be a close match?

No, this isn’t going to be a debate about the worldview between Christmas, where mounds of presents are under the tree, and Easter, where mounds of candy and eggs can be found in a basket. Obviously, in most cases, the “ME” culture says, “Christmas is better because I get stuff and I can get candy any day of the year.”

This post is simply a statement of faith…Easter is better than Christmas.

Why? Well, there are reasons why Christmas is necessary. It is, after all, the celebration of the birth of Christ. This is an important event in the life of Christians everywhere because we recognize that without a birth there can be no death. Death is just as important as birth in this case.

The death of Christ, some would argue, was more important than the birth. He had to be a sacrificed. He had to be found guilty for all my sins, your sins, and everyone else’s sins. He certainly didn’t deserve it and he certainly didn’t have to do it. He displayed no greater love by accepting death, a sacrifice of life so that others might live.

But the cross is not where the story ends. If it were the end, there would be no hope. No hope because death would have won and then Jesus would only have been a martyr and nothing more. However there is so much more! Easter is better than Christmas because there is life in His death. The story doesn’t end with death but only begins, again, with life. An empty tomb is the story of Easter…the resurrection of Christ and victory over death. Because He died, I live. There can be no greater sacrifice and no greater victory! In Him I am free from death, and you could be too.

Mark 16:1-8 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Has Risen

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Easter is better than Christmas. Period.

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If you have questions about this post, or would like to know more about how you too can have hope through faith in a risen Savior, let me know.

Quote of the Day

Not sure about her fashion sense, but she gets credit for the quote.

That moment when everything makes sense and comes into focus…this was it for me today.

I am patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it.

Edith Sitwell, thank you. Thank you for putting to words my thoughts and feelings, exactly.

If Only, and Responsibility Sucks.

If only there were a way to get here and still be responsible…Costa Rican beach…

I texted my wife earlier today and asked her an important question. It wasn’t really serious, but it was at the same time.

Would you be really mad if I abandoned my job, flew to Costa Rica, and lived there till I maxed out the credit cards?

I wasn’t serious, of course, because I am too responsible to do something like that. I am too rational. I recognize that my decisions have an impact, not just on me and my future but on people I really care about. So this fantasy isn’t really an option.

Ever.

Sometimes responsibility really sucks. Or, maybe, it is just BEING responsible that sucks. I am not sure. I guess I have more years to figure that out.

In the mean time, I’ll keep doing my jobs (yes, I have two) and keep being responsible. Maybe one day this fantasy won’t just be that, a fantasy.

Oh and, in case you’re wondering, she said, “Yes I would be lol.” That isn’t a knock against her. She later said she would be mad because she wouldn’t get to abandon all responsibility with me. It seems we have a theme here…

Anyone else ever felt this way? Have you ever had a time that you would like to abandon all responsibility and just get away? Tell me about it.

Thankful for a Gift

This has been on my heart since before Thanksgiving, I just haven’t had much time to formulate it into a manner which makes sense to me so I am just gonna put it out there.

In the Sunday morning services at my church this year the pastor was talking about the true meaning of thankfulness for a Christian. This wasn’t a new concept for me, I have heard sermons like this before but our new pastor has a way of putting things that makes me think much more deeply than I have in the past. In his sermon the Sunday before Thanksgiving he asked a simple question that many of us probably really haven’t taken much time to ponder. So, I am gonna ask you the same question. You can choose to respond, or not. But please ponder it, deeply, because it might change how you see this time of year, but it might also change YOU.

What are you thankful for AND how long will it last?

After having just come out of the Thanksgiving (last month here in America) season and now just about to celebrate Christmas I wonder if you really know what you are thankful for. Moreover, you many even know what you are thankful for, but have you really taken the time to contemplate how long it will last?

If you are like most people, you probably can answer that questions with a long list of things you are thankful for.

Good health.

A house, a car.

A job, an income, a BIG income.

Family: parents, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, cousins…

Clothing, a warm place to lay your head, a retirement account, a big TV, etc.

The point of the questions is, how long will those things last? Health is fleeting and as we age it will deteriorate. Wealth is temporary and can be gone in an instant. Those material possessions you have worked so hard for are going to break down and need to be replaced at some point in the future. The point: none of it lasts. It never will. No matter how hard we try to make it happen, it just won’t.

An Eternal GIFT

it is Christmas Eve and we are about to spend time with family. I love them a lot, however they are only temporary. That thought both pains me and gives me joy. I want them to be with me forever and I want them to live forever, but the only way that can happen is if they do one thing: accept a gift they neither deserve nor can they earn. Thankfully, most of them have accepted that gift. Maybe you would like to as well?

The GIFT came in the form of a little baby so long ago. God sent his son to earth so that he might endure a human life and then give himself, as a sacrifice, to atone for my sins. Not just mine, but everyone’s, including yours. That is a GIFT no one except a loving God can give. Think about that. He gave up something that means the most to Him so that we might have eternal life. How many of us would willingly give up what means the most to us, just so someone who deserves nothing could have everything?

This Christmas we celebrate isn’t about those gifts that may be under the tree. Most of us know this, but many of us fail to grasp the weight of it and simply go about our busy lives failing to appreciate the GIFT that was given to us.

What are you thankful for AND how long will it last?

How long will it last? That question has haunted me. Everything is temporary, except one thing – eternal life. An eternal life given to me, you too if you accept it, through the birth of a child, which eventually led to his death.

The only thing I am sure of this Christmas season is that I have accepted GIFT that no one else can give me. I have accepted a GIFT that nothing can destroy, be stolen, or lost. I know as I end this year and begin the next that no matter what happens I have a GIFT that can never be taken from me. It is forever! There are no other things in life that can make that claim. No other things in life that can be guaranteed with that much certainty. No other things that will last beyond this world.

If you don’t have that kind of thankfulness and if you haven’t accepted the GIFT no one else can give you, I would encourage you to seek someone out that knows what this GIFT is all about. You can contact me, if you like, and I will do my best to answer your questions, but I am still learning and growing in this lifelong journey.

However you do it, do it soon! Remember, those things you sat around a table and were thankful for about a month ago are only temporary and you never know how much time God has granted you on this ball of dirt and water. The sooner you choose to accept THE GIFT that will not fail, the sooner you can live in confidence of an eternal life. What better thing to be thankful for than that?

I can’t think of anything.